Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024

A Luau and then On the Road Again - Sunday, April 14, 2024

Aloha! We're in the Hawaiian spirit from our luau on Thursday evening. When we returned from Hawaii last month, hosting a luau at our place sounded fun. And it was. Thirty people attended. 

We provided Huli Huli Chicken, macaroni salad, potato salad, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, and Blue Hawaii cocktails. The rest was potluck. Others brought a green salad, a noodle salad, macaroni and cheese, pineapple fried rice, sausage rolls, fresh pineapple rings, mandarin orange cake, chocolate chip brownies, and an Oreo cookie/whipped cream dessert. 

Skip volunteered to DJ the party with Hawaiian music. Thank you, Skip. That made a definite difference in the ambiance of the party.

Here's my Blue Hawaii drink
complete with umbrella.

Susan, Joan, Bob, and Peg: all in the 
Hawaiian spirit.

Mike, Judy, Dave, and Jyl.

Sisters Peg and Joan did an impromptu
hula in their grass skirts.

Tim checking out the desserts.

Fast forward to today...we spent yesterday loading the 5th wheel for our upcoming trip. We spent the night in the 5th wheel so we could leave by 5-6 am. You see, the major I-10/Hwy 1604 interchange in San Antonio is getting a new fly-over ramp. They will be putting up huge pieces of the ramp. The intersection is closed all weekend. 

When we got to the construction, the freeway access road was open and we made it through the traffic congestion in ten minutes. Then we were free to travel I-10 at the usual speed. 

Both of us were very tired from all the packing we did. Plus, I clean the house before we leave on a trip so we return to a tidy home.

About an hour into the drive, we stopped at a picnic area (rest area without restrooms). Bob took a nap in the truck while I went into the 5th wheel to feed the cats. Both of us were still tired after that rest.

Around 11 am, we stopped at a rest area on US 87. It had nice exhibits about local history. The display of local courthouse architecture was quite interesting. When you look at the three photos, you can see the similarity between the three buildings. The similarity of their designs reveals the use of standardized plans. All of them were built by brothers Frederick Ernst and Oscar Raffini along with numerous other county courthouses. They employed a stylistic language called French Second Empire. 

Other historical info included the local tribes, pronghorns, climate change, and building with Texas limestone.

Art in the visitor center.

Restroom markers were pictographs.

Both of us were exhausted, so we took a nap. I went in the 5th wheel and slept on the bed. Bob conked out on the fully reclined seat in his pickup truck. An hour and a half later, both of us felt rested. We continued another 1-1/2 hours to our campground in Big Spring, Texas.

Our site is in Big Spring, Texas.

The cats traveled well today. After we set up our RV and opened the blinds, JoJo set up a station at the dining room table window. We call it "Kitty TV." She immediately saw a point of interest outside. It was a prairie dog popping out of a hole under the electrical hookup of the site next door. That entertained her for 5-10 minutes!

We watched 60 Minutes, and then Bob went for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I edited photos and wrote my blog.

Tomorrow, we will be in Ruidoso, New Mexico. There, we meet with our West Texas Trailwalkers Volkssport Club to hike and scope out trails for our October hiking weekend. We also have our annual meeting. Bob is Treasurer and I am Secretary.

Until tomorrow, good night.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

We Have Visitors from Houston! - Saturday, March 23, 2024

And not just any visitors! Rich and Kristin are part of our family. They moved from New Jersey to Missouri City, Texas, 2-1/2 years ago. He worked for Costco and got transferred to Costco Business in Stafford, Texas. Kristin also works for Costco in their Optometry Department. 

We visited them in Missouri City when they first moved to Texas. That was a fun trip and we explored parts of Houston together.

They are settled into their home now and have time off together. We are thrilled they are letting us show them San Antonio this weekend. Rich has never been here before.

When they arrived, we stored their bags at our place until they could check into their hotel and took our car to Cheddar's at Brooks City Base for lunch. We then took them to see Espada Dam, Mission Espada, the Acequia, Stinson Airport, and Mission San Jose.

At Mission San Jose (known as the Queen of the Missions) in San Antonio, we watched the 25-minute video. Um, I think Bob, Rich, and I fell asleep. Kristin saw most of it. The soothing voice and music put me to sleep when I watch it. It's very interesting, though. We live 1/2-mile away from the mission and I have watched the movie multiple times before, so there's that.

The curious keyhole door at Mission Espada.

Bob, Kristin, and Rich at Mission Espada.

Inside Mission Espada.

Mission San Jose - "the Queen of
the Missions."
Bob at Mission San Jose.

Mission San Jose - "the Queen of
the Missions."

Rich and Kristin at Mission San
Jose - "the Queen of 
the Missions."

The ornate entryway to the church
at Mission San Jose.

Inside the church at Mission San Jose.

This explains the symbology of the
ornate façade of the church at 
Mission San Jose.

Mission San Jose - replica of a room that shows
how the Native Americans lived at the mission.

The arches of the granary.

Inside the granary at Mission
San Jose.

Kristin and Rich were tired from the 3-1/2-hour drive today. We agreed we all needed a break and would get back together at 6:45 pm to explore the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio and have dinner.

Randall, our son, joined us for the evening exploration. A parking garage was our best bet for parking on Saturday night! 

We walked the Riverwalk downtown at night. It is beautiful and crowded. We found The River's Edge Café & Patio Bar where we had dinner.

Then we walked the Riverwalk some more. "San Antonio: the Saga," a history of San Antonio, was playing at the San Fernando Cathedral. It is a 25-minute laser light show projected onto the façade of the cathedral accompanied by music. 

When that ended, we walked across the street to the Bexar County Courthouse. It looks awesome at night!

Randall, Bob, Kristin, & Rich in front
of the Bexar County Courthouse.

The Lady Justice in front of the 
Bexar County Courthouse.

We walked down Houston Street, past the Majestic Theater, and back to the parking garage. The weather was excellent all day and evening. We ended up walking 4.4 miles, according to my phone. 

Tomorrow, we will show them the King William Historic District, The Alamo, The Pearl, the Japanese Tea Garden, and whatever else we can pack into a few hours. We're happy they were able to get away for the weekend!